Kenya Forest Service Officers Fatally Beat Teenager in Eldama Ravine

May 15, 2024

On Tuesday, authorities arrested five Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers for allegedly beating a teenager to death at Maji Mazuri in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.

The officers attacked 19-year-old Stephen Mwangi after he went to rescue his mother, who had been detained by the KFS personnel.

John Ambuka, the father, told reporters that the mother had been arrested for gathering firewood in Narasha Forest forest. The officers allegedly demanded a Kes.2,000 bribe for her release, but the family only had Kes.500.

Ambuka then instructed Mwangi, who was at home, to take the balance to Maji Mazuri Forest Station where she had been detained.

Upon arrival, the boy reportedly found the officers mistreating his mother, resulting in a confrontation.

Citizen TV reports that the five KFS officers allegedly initiated physical violence against Mwangi, while his father fled the scene after the suspects purportedly fired at him.

Mwangi passed away from his injuries while receiving treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, having been transferred from the Eldama Ravine sub-county hospital following the incident.

The suspects were detained pending arraignment for murder charges.

Tensions heightened in Maji Mazuri throughout the day as clashes between the community and KFS officers escalated, raising concerns of potential violence.

Local residents have long accused KFS officers of persistent harassment, particularly targeting women, children, and elderly residents.

Solomon Kuria, the Maji Mazuri MCA, also raised alarm about the troubling trend of violence involving KFS officers, emphasizing that such incidents often occur when individuals gather firewood in the forest.

He called for a comprehensive investigation into the incident to ensure that the suspects face appropriate legal consequences for their actions.

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